Image by John Mayer
Whether you’re enjoying a fun and creative day with the kids at the weekend, or are helping out with a school project, permanent markers are a must-have item in any craft cupboard. They help keep your kid’s artwork looking bright and vibrant for longer and are handy for labelling items, but they do have a downside – the stains! The good news is that although permanent marker inks are long lasting, their stains don’t have to be. Here’s a handy guide to help you tackle permanent marker removal.
Why is Removing Permanent Marker Different to Removing Pen Ink?
Whereas regular ballpoint pens and many felt tip pens designed for kids are water-based, permanent markers are oil-based or alcohol-based. These oils and alcohols are called ‘carriers’, and they help the ink stick to a surface, and stay there. The carriers are water-resistant, so the bond between the carriers and the surface cannot be broken through the use of water alone. While flushing ballpoint pen stains with water will often produce great results, you’ll need to have some extra products on hand for dealing with permanent ink stains.
What Can Remove Marker Pen?
The trick is to treat permanent marker stains with products that can break down the oils and alcohols in the ink, exposing the colourants, and allowing you to treat the discolouration in much the same way you would any other stain – through washing! Alcohol is a solvent and is very effective and efficient at breaking down oils and other alcohols found in marker pens.
Methylated spirits and rubbing alcohol (which can be found at your local DIY store or chemist) are often very useful, but if you’d rather use items you have lying around the house, alcohol-based hairsprays and alcohol-based antibacterial hand soaps (in liquid form) are also good choices.
For a step-by-step guide to removing permanent marker, keep on scrolling!